Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco

In celebration of moving to the Bay Area twenty years ago this month, (has it really been that long?) I thought I’d pull out this drawing I did last year of the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Built for the Panama Pacific Exposition in 1915, the Palace of Fine Arts was dedicated to progress and a celebration of the completion of the Panama Canal. The Exposition also signified a rebirth of San Francisco following the destructive 1906 earthquake.

I visited San Francisco in 1989 as a prospective student to the Academy of Art College (it was a college back then). A friend of mine who already lived in the area, showed me around the city and one of the places we visited was the Palace of Fine Arts. Wow, was I impressed. San Francisco felt like the most European of American Cities. Just a few years before, I had lived in London and I still longed for a cross cultural experience.

Coincidentally, one month after my visit, the Loma Prieta earthquake hit San Francisco destroying houses, bridges, and even damaging the Palace of Fine Arts. But needless to say, Earthquakes didn’t keep me away from this beautiful, eclectic city and I chose The Academy of Art to study illustration.